A drug that is currently used to treat osteoporosis could help patients get back on their feet more rapidly after a hip fracture, according to an international study published in the Journal of Bone Joint Surgery.
Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden tested the effects of teriparatide, the active ingredient in human parathyroid hormone (PTH), to see whether it could accelerate the healing process in broken bones.
The randomised controlled trial looked at 171 patients with a pertrochanteric fracture in the transition between the neck of the femur and its body. The patients were assigned to one of two groups: those who received teriparatide after the surgery, and a control group that was given another drug commonly used to treat osteoporosis. The patients were assessed during a test in which they rose from a chair, walked three metres, turned round, walked back and sat down again. Those who received teriparatide were observed to move more rapidly than the control group in the months following the surgery. It was also estimated that the pain they experienced when carrying out the test was lower.
“We have shown that patients are more mobile and suffer less pain after a hip fracture when they receive this treatment,” said Per Aspenberg, professor of orthopaedics at Linköping University and principal author of the study.
“It’s my conclusion that this study shows clearly that treatment with PTH accelerates the healing process of fractures in such a manner that patients benefit from it. They are able to function better after six weeks and after three months. This is the first time that this has been shown in a scientifically convincing manner,” he added.
Source: Linköping Universitet